In recipes, tofu acts like a sponge and soaks up any flavor that is added to it. For example, crumble it into a pot of spicy chili and it tastes like chili. Three main types of tofu are available in American grocery stores: Firm tofu is dense and solid and holds up well in stir fry dishes, soups, or on the grill... anywhere that you want the tofu to maintain its shape.
Soft tofu is a good choice for recipes that call for blended tofu, or in Oriental soups.
Silken tofu is made by a slightly different process that results in a creamy, custard-like product. Silken tofu works well in pureed or blended dishes.
Once the tofu package is open, leftover tofu should be rinsed and covered with fresh water for storage. Change the water daily to keep it fresh, and use the tofu within a week.
Tofu can be frozen up to 5 months. Defrosted tofu has a pleasant caramel color and a chewy, spongy texture that soaks up marinade sauces and is great for the grill.
Kendra's TOFU Tips:
-Tofu scrambled eggs- add a ½ block of mashed, firm tofu with 5 whole eggs and 10 egg whites, that have been whisked, season to taste and scramble as usual for a lower cholesterol/higher protein egg dish
-Puree ¼ to ½ block tofu in a food processor or blender with vinaigrette salad dressing for a creamy version or you can add to any bottled dressing -replace ½ the oil/butter/shortening in cake, muffin and quick bread recipes with soft or silken tofu
-Substitute silken tofu for part of the mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese or ricotta cheese in recipes like dips and lasagna
-Add ½ block tofu to frozen fruit and blend until smooth in a blender for a protein fruit drink- great for breakfast instead of caffeine!
-Use in stir fry: tofu has a tendency to crumble apart if stirred too much, so add extra firm tofu as the last ingredient before serving
-Crumble up to ½ block firm tofu and add to 1# ground meat for tacos, meatloaf, meatballs, sloppy joes, etc.
-Slice a block of firm tofu into “steaks” or chunks, drain on paper towels for 30 minutes. Pan fry in peanut or vegetable oil until lightly tan on all sides. Drain on paper towel and serve with:
Spicy Peanut Sauce
½c peanut butter
1-2 T low sodium soy sauce
dash hot pepper flakes (opt)
Heat and stir ingredients over low heat until smooth. Thin with a little water if too thick. Serve hot with fried tofu!
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